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Gold steadies on safe-haven buying, weaker US dollar

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 11:44

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Gold held steady early on Monday, supported by safe haven buying amid rising geopolitical tensions over North Korea and a weaker US dollar.

[BENGALURU] Gold held steady early on Monday, supported by safe haven buying amid rising geopolitical tensions over North Korea and a weaker US dollar.

Investors are closely watching developments after the reclusive state fired fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest coast, days after it promised retaliation over US-South Korean military drills.

"We expect gold to trade with a bid tone in early Asia on safe-haven flows, following a series of North Korean missile launches this morning," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

The US dollar also dipped in Asian trading, as investors locked in gains after the greenback's rise last week on growing expectations of a US interest rate hike this month. The US dollar index was down 0.2 per cent to 101.39.

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Spot gold was little changed at US$1,234.20 per ounce at 0215 GMT. The metal had hit US$1,222.51, the lowest since Feb 15, in the previous session on signals of a hike in US interest rates this month.

US gold futures were up 0.7 per cent to US$1,234.6.

The US Federal Reserve's long-stalled 'liftoff' of interest rates may finally get airborne this year as policymakers from Chair Janet Yellen to regional leaders across the United States signaled that the era of easy money is drawing to a close.

Ms Yellen capped off a seemingly coordinated push from the central bank when she cemented the view that the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting on March 14-15, and likely be able to move faster after that than it has in years.

Spot gold may revisit its March 3 low of US$1,222.51 per ounce, as its drop from the Feb 27 high of US$1,263.80 has not completed, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers boosted their net long position in Comex gold to the highest in more than three months in the week to Feb 28, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

In other precious metals, spot silver fell 0.5 per cent to US$17.87 per ounce, while platinum inched lower by 0.1 per cent, to US$993.50.

Palladium was up 0.5 per cent at US$775.00. The metal had hit US$752.72, the lowest since Feb 6 in the previous session.

REUTERS

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